Knorr-Bremse opens Maryland plant

Written by Douglas John Bowen

Knorr-Bremse has opened its new Rail Vehicle Systems plant in Westminster, Md., in order to cope with "ongoing growth of the U.S. mass transit market and of three current major orders for HVAC systems."

The company held a ceremony May 9, with Knorr-Bremse owner and Chairman of the Supervisory Board Heinz Hermann Thiele joined by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The company says the new plant triples the capacity of its older facility also in Westminster, and soon will employ almost 300 employees. This location will develop, manufacture, and sell product lines for rail vehicles on more than 20,000 square meters of production and office space.

“Our new plant in Westminster is one of the most advanced facilities in Knorr-Bremse’s global production network,” said Dr. Dieter Wilhelm, member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG responsible for the Rail Vehicle Systems division in his opening address. “We have paid special attention to implementing highly efficient, value stream-oriented production processes and logistics here, with the aid of which we aim to further increase the added value for our customers in the United States.”

In keeping with the corporate philosophy of Knorr-Bremse, the new factory employs transparent structures to realize open communications between the production and support sectors, making for closer contact between development and production. The company says the new plant sets standards in ecological terms as well: in line with the US LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) classification, it is rated particularly eco-friendly, resource efficient and sustainable. Further expansion of the plant can be accommodated, should more capacity be required in the future.

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